Coronavirus update for customers

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Coronavirus update for customers

Operational Update on NOCN Group Qualifications and Services

NOCN Group offers a wide range of services including regulated qualifications, EPA for apprenticeships, Job Cards in construction, Access to HE Diplomas, bespoke accreditation and educational and skills support training.

You will find out more operational detail on the implications of COVID19 for each of these services, including advice for students and centres preparing for external assessments, through the following links:

Please note that NOCN will be following the guidance issued by the ESFA, IfATE, Ofqual, CCEA, QAA and Qualifications Wales, and will update our customers as things change.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss the impact on your centre, apprentices or learners please contact us on or 0300 999 1177 (Option 5).

Working to support our valued customers

You will be aware of the various Government and World Health Organisation (WHO) announcements and official advice over COVID19.
The situation is unprecedented and has been continually changing. With colleges and schools now closed and the country in effect ‘locked down’, other than essential services, we will endeavour to continue to support you, your apprentices, learners and card applicants through this difficult period.

We support Ofqual’s statement that the most important principle is fairness to all learners and apprentices, not only for those being assessed now, but also for those assessed before COVID-19.

Centre Support

All our staff are working from home, so we are still offering front line support, through telephony, email and web chat as usual.
Certificates for regulated qualifications and cards are being issued to centres in the normal way.
We aim to provide as full a range of our services as possible, where these can be delivered remotely, and we can use remote or recorded assessment methods, whilst maintaining the integrity of the assessment.
All face-to-face appointments for approval visits, External Quality Assurers, and external assessments have been suspended until training centres reopen and normal business resumes.
We are providing digital on-line support, including offering WebEx interviews, developing online invigilated exams in place of physical papers, and digital content support.

Please contact us to discuss how best we can support you on or 0300 999 1177 (Option 5).

Best wishes from all at NOCN to you our valued customers. We hope you all remain safe and well.

Graham Hasting-Evans, Group Managing Director

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Working with the TUC to face the skills challenges ahead

by Graham Hasting-Evans, NOCN Group Managing Director

NOCN is now one of the larger national Awarding Organisations for vocational and technical qualifications. The group is made up of leading learning and development organisations specialising in areas including the design and delivery of vocational qualifications, apprenticeship End Point Assessment, Access to Higher Education, construction sector skills and international education and skills consultancy.

Our relationship with the TUC and Unionlearn is well established. For many years we have supported them to qualify representatives in a wide range of topics, such as being a Trade Union Representative, employment law, equalities, and health and safety. We have also run pilot courses for Union Representatives on the management of productivity. In addition, the TUC has a place on our Board and we considerably benefit from their insight, ideas and support.

As someone who has been a Union Rep and officer, as well as a senior manager, I believe skills and learning are essential for us all. We face enormous challenges to our economy and places of work, not just BREXIT, but the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Revolution and the 30% gap in UK productivity.

For this reason, NOCN, working in partnership with the Learning and Work Institute has published a report on the National Skills Strategy. The report outlines ideas that the Government should adopt to face the challenges of low skills, low productivity and low pay against the background of the AI revolution.

Our ideas build upon the education and skills reforms to date and the joint initiative which the TUC has launched with the Government and the CBI for the National Retraining Scheme.

If we are going to face what is arguably the biggest skills challenge of a lifetime, the Unions have an essential part to play in improving national productivity. This means that Union Representatives need to be prepared to respond with the necessary skills for this new world of work.

For example, we can see an increasing need for more training for Trade Union representatives on productivity and the implications of AI for workers.

As they say, knowledge is power. Together, we are better placed to face the challenges coming our way from a strong position and learning new skills or studying for a qualification can provide the framework for that. This way, challenges can become opportunities: to improve pay, conditions, and prospects, rather than threats to employment, redundancy or pay cuts.

BREXIT, AI and low productivity may seem abstract or distant but this ‘triple whammy’ will have an impact whether we like it or not. It is up to us how we plan and respond.

In all of this, NOCN is delighted to continue to support the TUC and union learners to face the challenges ahead because together, we can create a fair and equitable society for all.

Download a copy of our 'Skills to Drive a Productive Society' report.